Mother loses second son to murder

By: By Annick Joseph - Staff writer

LUMBERTON — The person who murdered Ola Bonnette’s oldest son more than six years ago has escaped justice so far.

Now she worries the killer of her other son might as well.

Ola Bonnette’s youngest boy, Patrick Bonnette, of 311 Winslow Drive, was found dead Thursday behind an auto repair shop that he owned and operated. Not far away was the body of Patrick’s longtime friend, Robbie Hammonds, who also worked at the shop on Nestle Lane in the Saddletree community. Both deaths are being investigated as murders, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

Patrick’s death opened up old wounds for Ola.

Her oldest son, Henry Bonnette, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head on May 7, 2011, on Hilly Branch Road, a few miles south of Old U.S. 74, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office shortly after his body was found. A passing motorist saw the body on the shoulder of the road and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

No arrests have ever been made, and although Sheriff Ken Sealey said unsolved murders are never “closed,” there is no indication of any new developments.

Ola is devastated. She said Friday she hasn’t been able to get a good night’s rest since Henry’s death six years ago.

Ola wants to know what happened to her sons.

“I just want to be able to sleep good again,” Ola said. “If we knew what happened, we would be a whole lot better.”

Both cases are under investigation. Ola was surrounded Friday afternoon by friends and family with whom she was working on funeral arrangements.

Ola said Patrick had two daughters and one son. She wants everyone to know he was a good person.

“He got along with everyone,” Ola said. “He would give the shirt off his back. That’s the type of person he was.”

Lawmen have not said how Bonnette and Hammonds died, but an investigator at the scene on Thursday advised family members that there was “visible” blood at the crime scene. Investigators are waiting on the results of autopsies.

A walk-through has been planned for 2 to 3 p.m. today at Praise & Worship Ministries, located at 9625 N.C. 71 in Red Springs, followed by a funeral service at 3 p.m. Bonnette’s full obituary is on page 2A of today’s The Robesonian.

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By Annick Joseph

Staff writer

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]